Perhaps We Left at the Right Time

The protest march in 2003

Before we left the US for Cana­da, we par­tic­i­pat­ed in some war protests. In 2003, Pam and I marched, along with thou­sands of oth­er Bosto­ni­ans, against the Iraq war. We had been against the war from day 1, and were par­tic­u­lar­ly upset that our niece (who we had rec­om­mend­ed the US Mil­i­tary as a great place to get free health care and col­lege fund­ing, back in the san­er Clin­ton era) was actu­al­ly sta­tioned in Kirkuk. So one over­cast day in March, we marched from Boston Com­mon to some­where else in the city (I can’t remem­ber where). The march was peace­ful, and there were no arrests.

It appears that this past week, accord­ing to the Inde­pen­dent Media Cen­ter of Win­nipeg:

In one of his most chill­ing moves to date against his own cit­i­zens, the Amer­i­can War Leader has issued a sweep­ing order this week out­law­ing all forms of protest against the Iraq war. Pres­i­dent Bush enact­ed into US law an ‘Exec­u­tive Order’ on July 17th titled “Block­ing Prop­er­ty of Cer­tain Per­sons Who Threat­en Sta­bi­liza­tion Efforts in Iraq”, and which says:

“By the author­i­ty vest­ed in me as Pres­i­dent by the Con­sti­tu­tion and the laws of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca, includ­ing the Inter­na­tion­al Emer­gency Eco­nom­ic Pow­ers Act, as amend­ed (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the Nation­al Emer­gen­cies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and sec­tion 301 of title 3, Unit­ed States Code,

I, George W. Bush, Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca, find that, due to the unusu­al and extra­or­di­nary threat to the nation­al secu­ri­ty and for­eign pol­i­cy of the Unit­ed States posed by acts of vio­lence threat­en­ing the peace and sta­bil­i­ty of Iraq and under­min­ing efforts to pro­mote eco­nom­ic recon­struc­tion and polit­i­cal reform in Iraq and to pro­vide human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance to the Iraqi peo­ple, it is in the inter­ests of the Unit­ed States to take addi­tion­al steps with respect to the nation­al emer­gency declared in Exec­u­tive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expand­ed in Exec­u­tive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for addi­tion­al steps tak­en in Exec­u­tive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Exec­u­tive Order 13364 of Novem­ber 29, 2004.” 

While IMC-Win­nipeg does sound a lit­tle shrill, it is arguable that polit­i­cal protests like the ones that we par­tic­i­pat­ed in are now against the law, and we (along with every­body else) would now be round­ed up and thrown in jail. Accord­ing to the rules of this law we would be for­bid­den from talk­ing about it with any­one, includ­ing lawyers or the press (who might very well paint us as ‘peo­ple who hate Amer­i­ca’ if they were from Fox)

Late­ly I’ve seen a lot of spec­u­la­tion online that the US is just one ‘inci­dent’ away from Mar­tial Law, sug­gest­ing that the Bush admin­is­tra­tion is putting in place the tools to actu­al­ly avoid the next elec­tion and stay in pow­er due to a ‘Nation­al Emer­gency’. Whether that inci­dent was real or actu­al­ly a staged event has also been men­tioned. I would have dis­missed this as alarmist imag­i­na­tions run wild, but they keep crop­ping up.

I can’t help think­ing that if there were such an event, with pub­lic protests being ille­gal (or cast as ‘under­min­ing efforts to pro­mote eco­nom­ic recon­struc­tion and polit­i­cal reform in Iraq’), the pos­si­bil­i­ty of this def­i­n­i­tion being expand­ed to include: “and inter­fer­ing with the US gov­ern­men­t’s attempts to restore order” or some­thing sim­i­lar is not inconceivable.

2 Replies to “Perhaps We Left at the Right Time”

  1. “By the author­i­ty vest­ed in me as President”

    So, the way to solve the prob­lem is for the Dems to impeach the p/Resident and get him out of office. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, they won’t do it because it might make them look “par­ti­san”. Well, it also would make them look like they are defend­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion, dammit.

  2. I wish the Democ­rats would stop act­ing so petu­lant. I wish they’d stop com­plain­ing and start act­ing. But would this force Bush’s hand and unleash some sort of ‘fake’ ter­ror­ist attack in the midst of the pro­ceed­ings? More­over, would any­body believe it was staged (oth­er than the peo­ple who think 9/11 was staged)?

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